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Census Research Guide: 1870

About the 1870 Census

Census Bureau's "By Decade" website

Includes a variety of publications, questionnaires, datasets, and more


  • 9th decennial census
  • US population: 39,818,449 (revised count)
  • California population: 560,247
  • First census taken after the 13th amendment abolished slavery.
  • First census to fully record information on the black population.

Questions asked (see questionnaire)

Name; age; sex; race; occupation; value of real estate; value of personal estate; place of birth; whether parents were foreign born; month of birth if born within the year; month of marriage if married within the year; school attendance; literacy; whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, or idiotic; male citizens 21 and over, and number of such persons denied the right to vote for other than rebellion. Supplemental schedules for persons who died during the year; paupers; prisoners.

Map coverage of the 1870 census


Find all 1870 census publications in the Library.

Key publications:

Print available in the Library

 Online access

Statistics of the Population: Tables I to VIII inclusive
[C 3.14:870/1 and C 3.14:870/1/reprint]

 Census Bureau


Vital Statistics of the United States
[C 3.14:870/2/reprint]

 Census Bureau


The Statistics of the wealth and industry of the United States
[C 3.14:870/3/reprint]

 Census Bureau


[C 3.14:870/4 and C 3.14:870/4/reprint]

 Census Bureau


Statistical Atlas of the United States

 American Memory